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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe (?), Review of Cobb's New North American Reader" (A), from The Evening Mirror (New York), December 13, 1844, p. 2, col. 6, middle.]


[page 2, column 6, continued:]

COBB'S NEW NORTH AMERICAN READER: C. Bartlett. -- The preface to this book meets the very obvious objection that books of a similar character have been sufficiently multiplied, by asserting that "the greatest evidence of a spirit of improvement in our Schools and Academies, and that education is in a high state of prosperity, is the continually increasing demand for new school books, which exists in every part of our country." Not to criticise the style of this sentence, we demur decidedly as to its sentiments. We think the demand for new school books is much more certainly an evidence of the incapacity of teachers; and so far are we from believing that a new book is necessary as improvement upon the old, that we think this very specimen a decidedly worse book for the purpose than half a dozen we could easily mention. George Wilson's "American Class Reader" is far preferable as a miscellaneous Reading-book; and Miss Robbins' "Poetry for Schools" is a store-house of elegant reading, illustrated by the clearest explanations, and enriched, moreover, with biographical sketches of the great poets from whose works its selections are drawn. For the taste which marks this "New North American Reader," we may refer to page 102, where we find the following "exquisite" lines, credited to "ROCHESTER GEM," and "American Author" with whose works we are unacquainted:

But sometimes truest friends will part,
And coldness fill each altered heart,
For some unmeant and light offence
That wounds the nice, exquisite sense
Which minds of finest tone possess,
Keenly alive to injuries;
Some word, perhaps, at random spoken,
Or slight neglect, then love has broken!
And we might multiply examples of the same sort, so that the conclusion is obvious, that whatever may be the "demand for new school-books," this, at least, is superfluous.


[This review is attributed to Poe by Hull, noting "In the January 21 issue of the Evening Mirror appeared a notice of this book, differing fundamentally in opinion and approach from the one under consideration. That notice, it was decided, was not Poe's. This in all probability is his. It has the Poe tone." The review is not mentioned by Heartman & Canny or Mabbott.]

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[S:0 - NYEM, 1844]